CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge - Friday, Week 5
[Scroll down for answers to today's Bonus Bucks trivia questions.]
Pow! The ladies are in charge today on this 5th and final day of the crowdsourcing experiment, with their all-airline allocation showing a whopping one-day gain of 11.4% (as of an hour or so into the session). It's looking like a fine ending to the week, but bear in mind things could change dramatically by the end of the session (as they did yesterday for airline stocks).
The men's allocation (oil operations stocks) is up around 1.0%.
How are both of our negatively correlated portfolios trading higher? WSJ's MarketBeat credits the menacing date.
Stocks (unlike some people) apparently favor Friday the 13th, at least when the spooky date falls in June.
There have been 11 incidences of Friday, June 13, since 1928, and nine were up days for the S&P 500, noted Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor’s. On Friday, June 13, 1941, the S&P fell 0.2%, and Friday, June 13, 2003, it fell 1%.
On the whole, there have been 1,108 up days and 9,798 down days in June for the index since 1928, “so it’s unusual” that those Friday 13ths in June would so often work out well, Mr. Silverblatt said. The S&P is up by more than 1% as of this writing, which is now freaking us out.
If prices were to close at these intraday prices, it would bring our leading subgroup up to an approximate gain of 24% for the week (including bonus bucks through today). The weekly leader was up 17.7% through yesterday, so we just might pull this off. [See update below...]
I don't know if we've actually got any participants who fell into that final sub-sub-sub-subgroup (we started the week with about 100 participants and 300 portfolios involved, so maybe), but anyone who bought yesterday's airline portfolio (which should be anyone using at least 2 portfolios, male or female) ought to be having a good day. More than enough to make up for some early-week ugliness.
Picks for Day 1 of Week 6 are listed below. Golf with Annika is on the line, so let's stay focused.
In the mean time, please drop us a line if you were participating in the experiment and you've got a portfolio that might be in contention for the Week 5 prize.
Update: Even more good news. This is my bad for not recognizing the name sooner, because he e-mailed last week to let us know he would be participating, but it turns out the current weekly leader (the one with the 17.7% gain through yesterday) is SF crowdsourcing experiment participant Hugh Daniel.
Hugh was using all 5 portfolios in the experiment, so he was able to use both the oil and airline allocations yesterday afternoon, but alas, the chart-topping portfolio wound up getting the oil stocks. Still, this means that if crude stages another afternoon rally and wrecks everyone's huge airline gains, Hugh's oil allocation ought to improve enough for him to hold the top spot.
Update: Here we go - the first batch of allocations for Week 6. Bear in mind these are devised with the crowdsourcing experiment in mind, which is to say they're best used in portfolios you don't believe can catch up to the overall leaders by the end of the contest. Together, we'll coordinate the stock allocations across these few hundred portfolios in order to maximize the chance that one of the participants wins the weekly prize.
And given the tentatively promising way the experiment's inaugural week is turning out, it's worth repeating a point I mentioned in Wednesday's pep talk, after a lot of our portfolios suffered some hideous losses: This strategy will necessarily result in big losses for many of the portfolios. The daily allocations are designed to be volatile and to move in opposite directions. So ideally, on any given day, half the group will be up big and half will be down big.
But given that only one player can win the weekly prize, big losses are no worse than moderate gains, since your score effectively resets every Friday. (Plus, if you're starting from a smaller base, your daily bonus bucks give you a larger percentage bonus.) Recognizing this, and steeling yourself against the brunt of the steep declines is what enables us to execute this strategy, which might give you a 1/100 chance of winning a weekly prize (a lot better than 1/250,000 in the general population).
With all that said, here's today's lineup.
Let's go back to square 1 and run the first segmentation by birth month again:
- Jan-Mar: MMR, REXX, DPTR, LEH
- Apr-Jun: LCC, AMR, UAUA, LEH
- Jul-Sep: MMR, REXX, DPTR, SBR
- Oct-Dec: LCC, AMR, UAUA, CAL
Each allocation is either heavily oil- or airline-weighted, with one of each spiced with a bit of Lehman Brothers (LEH), which reports earnings Monday morning and, well, has been in the news lately. The only other eligible earnings reporter (that I'm aware of) is
Adobe Systems (ADBE), but Lehman seems a little more prone to post-earnings hyperactivity right now, which is exactly what we're looking for.
Important: If you're using more than one portfolio for this project, allocate the first portfolio according to the birthday scheme, the next portfolio to the allocation directly beneath it, and so on, until you've reallocated all involved portfolios.
For example: If you were born in November and you're using 2 portfolios, your allocations would be:
All stocks should be set to 25%. Make sure to get your allocations set by 4 pm today.
And if you're a new participant (or didn't check in last time), it'd be helpful for purposes of budgeting the daily segmentations if you can give us a shout and let us know how many portfolios you'll be using in the experiment. You don't have to do this to participate, of course, but a more accurate count will enable us to better optimize the the strategy.
(Correction: Adobe reports after the close on Monday, not before the open, so it was never a good candidate for today's picks to begin with.)
Consider all of the above to be for entertainment purposes and not meant to be used as real-world investment recommendations. The goals and strategies of the Portfolio Challenge are not to be confused with those of sensible investing.
See all related posts in the CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive:
- Week 5: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Week 4: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Week 3: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Week 2: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Week 1: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
- Week 0: Pre-game
- A New Fly In the Ointment
- Currency Trading Resumes
- More Technical Difficulties
- Prize Poll
- The Airing Of Grievances
- Technical Difficulties, Orders Cancelled
To receive additional updates by e-mail, drop a line here with the word "Subscribe" in the subject header.
Friday June 13th
Throughout the contest, each day's answers will be at the top of the CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive as soon as the questions are published, so bookmark accordingly.
Squawk Box: "Question: In CNBC.com's Earnings - Highlights section, what is the first tab that readers see?:
Answer: Expected Announcements
Squawk On the Street: "Question: In May 29’s Sell Block, which telecom stock(s) did Cramer suggest to sell on “any strength”?"
Answer: Vimpel Communications
The Call: "Question: In May, Warren Buffett told a Madrid audience what his "three bedrock ideas" are. Which did he mention first?"
Answer: Stock = piece of a business
Power Lunch: "Question: According to Diana Olick, how many U.S. construction jobs were lost between the 2006 sector peak and May 2, 2008?"
Street Signs: "Question: Which CNBC anchor also writes the "Managing Asia" blog?"
Answer: Christine Tan
Closing Bell: "Question: In his June 5 blog, Phil LeBeau said this automaker matched Toyota's efficiency -- but not its public perception:"
Handcrafted by Flip on June 13, 2008 |
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